Sunday, August 02, 2015

San Antonio Life Sciences Institute awards $750,000 to innovators

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(Aug. 20, 2014) -- The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) today announced the awarding of more than $750,000 in grants through the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute (SALSI) Innovation Challenge.

Launched in 2003, SALSI is a model of how a general academic institution (UTSA) and an academic health science center join forces for greater research and graduate education.

The Innovation Challenge funds collaborative studies, with a focus on public health issues and diseases of global impact. Funding will support early and conceptual stages of project development. Awardees in this grant cycle are studying immunity, microorganisms and cancer.

The following one-year awards begin Sept. 1:

"Interrogating the Bacterial Glycome: Assignment of Specific Glycan Structure to Elements of the Innate Immune Response"
James Chambers, Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Peter Dube, Ph.D., UTHSCSA Associate Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Glycomics is the study of the biological role of carbohydrates. This inaugural collaborative effort between UTSA and the Health Science Center is the first step in establishing and nurturing this emerging area of research in San Antonio.

"Challenging the Morphology-Virulence Paradigm in Pathogenic Candida Species"
Jose Lopez-Ribot, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology
David Kadosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Candidiasis, the fourth leading cause of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in the United States, is a disease of global impact. Currently, only three major classes of antifungals are available to treat the disease. This research will provide greater insight into the relationship between morphology and virulence in Candida species and suggest new and more effective strategies for the treatment of candidiasis.

"Establishment of Pancreatic Microenvironment Ex Vivo to Grow and Preserve Pancreatic Islets"
Joo L. Ong, Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UTSA College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering
Xiao-Dong Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor -- Award $100,000
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry Department of Comprehensive Dentistry

Diabetes is a major challenge for the national and global public health community in the 21st century. In Texas, the incidence of diabetes is two to three times higher than the national average. Current treatment for diabetes involves therapies and management strategies for the disease but does not offer cures or reversals of complications. Ong and Chen's research hopes to further bolster insulin independence for Type I diabetes through improved allogeneic islet transplantation.

"Cancer Impairs Macrophage Function"
Floyd Wormley, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $74,593
UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology
Carlos Orihuela, Ph.D., Associate Professor -- Award $93,462
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. In cancer patients, infections are the leading immediate cause of death. Yet little research has focused on why individuals with cancer are more susceptible to infection. This is an important lapse that, if addressed, may reduce patient suffering, facilitate the administration of potentially curative therapeutics, and prolong survival.

The 77th Legislature created SALSI by passing House Bill 1716, authored by former Rep. Robert Puente and sponsored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. The goal was to develop synergies in research and education that would exceed the combined efforts of the Health Science Center and UTSA if each were acting alone.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country's leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university's schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways "We Make Lives Better," visit the UTHSCSA website.

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.

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Did You Know?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

Read More »
Events
Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p,m,; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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